Saturday, June 1, 2013

The Cinema Experience...Or Lack Of.

Remember that moment on Christmas morning when you were waiting for that video game that all your friends had for months and you had been begging your parents for? How excited were you when you saw that square shaped box, wrapped up tightly in red wrapping paper with a gold ribbon around it. This HAS to be the latest Mortal Kombat game, it just has to be, it’s all you have spoken to your parents about for months. You start to slowly tear the edges and then think ‘SCREW THIS’ and tear away the wrapping paper like a rabid dog and then the realisation hits you like a tonne of bricks…this isn’t Mortal Kombat, it’s Fatal Fury…The poor man’s Mortal Kombat, still a good game though but not nearly as violent. You’re heart sinks and your 10 year old self can think of nothing worse. Now fast forward that same emotion you felt as a 10 year old to you right now,  and apply it to how you feel when a film you have been gagging to see, doesn’t get played at any cinema in your state…or even YOUR COUNTRY.  It’s scandalous right? An outrage? A joke? But once the initial anger has seeped under your skin and will boil over another day, you start to wonder why the hell would this film get scrapped from cinemas at the last minute. But the more you think about it, the more frustrated you feel, surely these film distributors and the guys behind the marketing know what they are doing right? Or are they just being square headed ignoramuses? You be the judge.

In the past few years I have noticed more and more films which have not been reaching our cinemas here in Australia, or what they do is, get scrapped last minute or they get a little run in selected cinemas. I am not just talking about B grade movies which I would like to see because I love my cheese, I am talking legit films which could have made these film companies a bit more cash, than rather having it sitting around for several months until the straight to DVD release. And all the while this is happening, the Justin Bieber 3D film got slammed at the cinemas, so did the Katy Perry movie also in 3D…Did I mention there is also going to be a One Direction movie too? Word on the street is, it’s going to be in 3D too. Now why is this allowed to happen? Why are so called documentaries like that getting slammed, marketed and pushed down our throat yet Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning didn’t even get a cinematic release here in Australia besides in 2 cinemas…you heard right, 2 FREAKIN’ CINEMAS. I will tell you why this is happening. Teenage girls are idiots, lets face it, all of us were crazy about some guy as a 15 year old right? I mean I was crazy about Stallone…hrm maybe I am exempt from this. Anyway these girls will spend whatever money they have on the latest cd, t-shirt, poster by guys like One Direction. And these girls are in the masses, its like the Horde from He-Man. And these film companies know these girls will go with their friends to see the movie and buy the DVD, so it’s a quick buck for them. No real thought process went into the production all they saw behind this kind of ‘movie’ is dollar signs. But the thing is, no one will remember these kind of movies in 10 years, want to know why? Because these girls will grow up, and they will find ACTUAL boyfriends which will exist past the poster hanging above their bed, and they will look back on those couple of years and think ‘Why the hell did I like this band so much?’ Without these kind of ‘documentaries’ and films the companies wouldn’t be as financially set, because they know how peoples brains work when it comes to mind numbing plots, so good on them for making their money that way. However whenever something is due for a release that they don’t know much about or even really care to know much about, they go into a panic and either pull out of releasing it last minute or limit the sessions down, regardless of the fact the film may have done well in another country.

Action and Horror movies are the bastard children of the film industry. Sure action movies get released but unless it’s ‘A Grade’ with several big names in the cast and is guaranteed to make them millions, it won’t get played. And when it comes to horror movies, that is a genre that is definitely cast aside in Australia. The best example of that is the remake/reboot to the Evil Dead franchise. There was a tonne of buzz around this when it got announced there was going to be another instalment and let’s face it the trailer really did sell it. And then just before it was due for release here in Australia, it got limited to 3 cinemas in the entire country. A Facebook group and petition was then created for Sony Pictures to rethink it’s decision to scrap most of the sessions, but alas they didn’t care. But what I can tell you is this, they would have made a lot more money if they would have distributed ‘Evil Dead’  to the mainstream cinema. Film companies do not trust horror films, because there have been a lot of misses, they aren’t exactly stable when it comes to bringing back that cash. Word on the street is in Australia the most rented genre on DVD is actually horror. Now that is totally something I can understand, remember back when you were a pre-teen and you wanted to watch movies you shouldn’t be and all those gruesome and weird horror covers would entice you and keep your interest, so as soon as you were old enough you rented them with your friends; and it’s still like that to this day.


Back in the 1970′s cinema was something which was enjoyed by the masses, sure it still is, but back then it was on a different level to what it is now. In the 70′s a lot of films whether they were mainstream or independent were a lot more grimy and gritty, and the themes were seen as a little more dramatic, intense and at times over exaggerated but for the right reasons. And even though that was the case, they were still an accepted form of film, and they were played even if it was a midnight session or at the drive in, either way they managed to bring in a big crowd of people. There were less boundaries back then until the shit storm in the 1980′s arose in the UK with the banning of films and labelling them ‘Video Nasties’. And I believe since all that erupted back then that has definitely played a big part into why certain genre of films get a limited to no run at the cinema. I love going to the movies, it’s something that makes me happy, it calms me and for me it’s a kickass experience, but at times I do get tired of seeing the same crap pumped through the cinemas and getting a tonne of sessions compared to something which I believe is a lot better, but that goes back to personal taste. I just think at times it is unfair that we miss out on a great and memorable movie experience just because a company doesn’t think it will make them any money. If they do seriously believe that I say they shouldn’t be so upset when people decide to download the movie. You didn’t want to make money so don’t get mad if someone downloads it.


To the film companies out there I say this; back the projects which you guys distribute as much as you can. Obviously not everything will hit the cinema, because that is impossible, and some sign in their contract that it won’t be getting a cinematic release. But don’t promise something to an audience and then take it away because you don’t believe the hype or buzz surrounding a film. I can understand that these companies do not want to lose out on money and that is fair, but if something which is mainstream or even independent that has made a fair bit of cash, shouldn’t you be excited to distribute it in another country and not just in selected cinemas with selective sessions? Start doing the research, go onto Facebook, Twitter, movie forums, movie news websites, and read up on your product you are selling, check out what people want and what they expect, and find out what your target audience really thinks.

1 comment:

  1. I watched the Documentary Not Quite Hollywood and was impressed with the movies Australia was releasing during the 70's. I wished films like that now are giving more respect and our being made and distributed. Showing Evil Dead to just three cinemas in the whole country is just bad marketing. It's a shame that you are getting more movies aimed at teenage girls then a wide assortment.

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